BEN House grabbed a 90th minute equaliser as Reading FC Under 23s drew 1-1 with Southampton Under 23s at Hogwood Park.

The 18-year-old striker netted a last-gasp leveller to earn Scott Marshall’s youngsters a point in yesterday’s lively Premier League Two clash.

Defences were on top in the early stages before Saints threatened from a set piece when Matt Targett missed the target direct from a free-kick.

But clear-cut chances were at a premium and Marshall also had a double injury blow to contend with after losing Jordan Holsgrove and Tom McIntyre before the break.

However, the hosts still managed to hit the woodwork soon after when Josh Barrett’s free-kick from a wide position smacked the base of the post.

Saints hit back on the stroke of half-time, Armani Little prodding wide from a deep corner.

They carried that momentum into the second half and almost broke the deadlock when Callum Slattery’s in-swinging corner caught out Royals keeper George Legg and bounced off the front post.

Then it took a superb last-ditch block by Tom Holmes to divert Jonathan Afolabi’s shot out for a corner.

Reading remained under the cosh and Saints were cursing their luck when Michael Obafemi’s effort from close range was ruled out for offside.

But the visitors finally found a breakthrough in the 76th minute when Afolabi was tripped in the box and from the resulting penalty Sam McQueen sent Legg the wrong way.

However, the game took another twist three minutes later when Little was sent off for a second yellow after a foul on Barrett on the edge of the Saints box.

Royals piled on the pressure in the closing stages with Jake Sheppard’s powerful driving flying inches wide.

And they snatched an equaliser in the last minute when House collected the ball 10 yards out before firing low past Saints keeper Jack Rose to make it 1-1.

House even went close to an injury-time winner when he dragged an effort narrowly wide after a corner fell to him.

Reading U23: Legg, Holmes, Osho, McIntyre (Odimayo 33), Medford-Smith, East, Sheppard, Holsgrove (Shokunbi 8), House, Rollinson, Barrett. Subs not used: Rosario, Buchanan, Howe. Booked: Sheppard 45, House 45, Odimayo 60.

Southampton U23: Rose, Valery, Targett, Little, Bednarek, Jones (Afolabi 55), Sims (Johnson 46), Slattery, Obafemi, Hesketh, McQueen. Subs not used: Cook, Latham, O'Connor. Booked: Little 50 & 79, Hesketh 88. Red: Little 79.